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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: Stepping Through Moons by Toni L. Wilkes

Stepping Through Moons by Toni L. Wilkes, Finishing Line Press, 2010. Review by Debrah Lechner.

Toni L. Wilkes is at her best when describing the briefest moment, the bright sliver of an unforgettable sensation that lingers in both body and mind and pulls toward it both the past and future. The balanced stanzas that characterize her poetry are easy to relax into, and invite contemplation. This is poetry that is a a great satisfaction to read aloud.

The signature poem that names the book demonstrates this quality:

Summers ago when we first began
stepping through moons by the sea,
a harbor bell would thump against itself,
complaining, god, that moon is bright tonight.

This is love poetry, not merely of an individual, but of the moment. The poem "Stepping Through Moons" concludes, in part, like this:

turtle, rhino, frog─talismans, proof

that we’ve known the moon, owned
her phases, lived on a bluff of summer

There are abundant quotable lines in Wilkes’s poetry that celebrate the pleasure of an ephermeral moment. Reading one of her poems can be such a moment.

The book
Stepping through Moons has been nominated for the California Book Award and the PEN USA Literary Award. The poem "Once Again," which appears in this collection, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Prior to relocating to Northern California, Toni L. Wilkes was a freelance screenwriter and fulltime story editor for feature film director Peter Hyams in Los Angeles. She has conducted creative writing seminars for “Celebrate the Gift” on the campuses of Chapman University and Purdue University. Her work appears or is forthcoming in
California Quarterly, Confrontation, Cream City Review, Folio, GW Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Healing Muse, In Posse Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Pinyon, Poetry East, Roanoke Review, Rosebud, Southern Humanities Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Touch: The Journal of Healing, The Texas Review and other noted journals. She lives with her husband in Santa Rosa, California where they own a financial planning practice.

Read more about Toni L. Wilkes and connect with her through Facebook. You can also purchase a limited edition of Stepping Through Moons through the author by email.

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